Three-Tab Shingles versus Laminate Composite Shingles

Three-Tab Shingles versus Laminate Composite Shinglesfeatured image

Posted on December 31, 2022 by Phillip Camerer

There are two popular options most homeowners gravitate toward when choosing a new roof for their home:

While 3-tab shingles have been around for decades and are generally cheaper, laminate shingles offer more durability, color choices, and customization options. Understanding the difference between 3-tabs and laminate shingles can help you make an informed decision that best fits your needs.

Three-Tab Shingles

A basic three-piece asphalt shingle system made of a base mat layer with two rectangular asphalt tabs is uniform in shape and size. The 3-tab shingles are a popular choice for homeowners looking to replace their home’s roof on a budget.


When homeowners consider three-tabs, the low up-front cost is generally the biggest pro. It’s also less labor-intensive to install than composites, thanks to the lightweight. These shingles are also easy to maintain if properly installed by a roofing contractor.


Unfortunately, 3-tab shingles lack durability compared to laminate shingles. Furthermore, these shingles are more prone to weather damage over time due to their single-layer design.

A three-tab shingle may crack in areas of extreme temperatures or freeze-and-thaw cycles. Three-tabs typically come with shorter warranties and can be less aesthetically pleasing than laminate shingles.

Laminate Composite Shingles

In comparison, laminate composite shingles are three-dimensional, multi-layered asphalt shingles. To help improve your home’s curb appeal. 


The thicker material adds greater protection from the elements and generally comes with an extended manufacturer warranty. Additionally, laminates have greater flexibility and can expand and contract with extreme environmental climate changes. That makes these shingles an overall better choice for homeowners.


However, composites are more expensive upfront and require more labor to install than three-tab shingles. These shingles are heavier and have thicker layers that offer long-term durability against wind and weather.

Making the Final Cut is Up to the Homeowner

While 3-tab shingles may be the better choice if you are looking for a cost-effective option upfront. But if you’re willing to invest a bit more initially to get a longer-lasting roof, laminate composite may be the better option for your home.

Getting the most out of your investment means completing the research upfront. Compare warranties and prices, and choose a qualified contractor to install your roof. Taking these steps can help ensure that you’ll get the best protection for your home no matter which type of shingles you choose.

Three-tab shingles and laminates both have their advantages and disadvantages. But you must decide which is better for your home and pocketbook.

  • Based on your budget
  • Climate where you live
  • What type of warranty can you get

Also, remember to read what other homeowners have to say. Reading product reviews is a surefire way to ensure you invest in a quality roof that will provide the best protection for years.

Ask A Roofing Contractor

While weighing the pros and cons of product shingles before making your final decision, talk with a roofing contractor, like the experts at Phillip Camerer Roofing, by calling (417) 451-5479 or complete an online contact form to schedule an in-home consultation.